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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Persia & Mesopotamia||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins of Persia and Mesopotamia

Also included on this page are coins minted under Persian rule in other regions of the Persian Empire.

Kingdom of Persis, Darios (Darev) II, 1st Century B.C.

|Kingdom| |of| |Persis|, |Kingdom| |of| |Persis,| |Darios| |(Darev)| |II,| |1st| |Century| |B.C.|, |drachm|
Persis was located in what is now southern Iran. "Persians" settled the area as early as the 8th century B.C. From the time after its conquest by Alexander the Great, Persis was most often quasi-independent, under the hegemony of a Seleukid or Parthian king. Immediately following Alexander's death, Persis was subject to the Seleucid Kingdom. About 290 B.C., Persis regained independence. The coins produced during this period were Greek-inspired, but inscriptions were Aramaic, symbolic of Persis' rejection of the Greek ruling class. Sometime between c. 250 and 223 B.C., the Seleucids regained control. Mithradates II later incorporated Persis as a sub-kingdom of Parthia. Under Parthian domination, the coins and appearance of the kings depicted on them assumed the Parthian style. The last King of Persis, Artaxerxes, defeated the Parthians and founded the Sassanian Empire.
SH92774. Silver drachm, Sunrise 590, Klose-Mseler 4/4, Alram 564, Tyler-Smith -, VF, well centered and struck on a tight flan, light toning, weight 4.027 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 315o, Persepolis (Fars Province, Iran) mint, 1st century B.C.; obverse bearded bust left, wearing diadem and Parthian-style tiara with three rows of pellets surrounding crescent; reverse Aramaic inscription: King Darev son of King Vadfradad, king on right, standing left, holding scepter, facing altar on left; ex Harlan J. Berk; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $225.00


Kingdom of Elymais, Uncertain King (Kamnaskires VI?), c. 1st Century A.D.

|Kingdom| |of| |Elymais|, |Kingdom| |of| |Elymais,| |Uncertain| |King| |(Kamnaskires| |VI?),| |c.| |1st| |Century| |A.D.|, |tetradrachm|NEW
Elymais was the biblical Elam and home of the magi. With its capitol at Susa, it was a small kingdom in what is now Iran and Kuwait. The Kingdom of Elymais struck coins from the middle of the 2nd century B.C. until their defeat by the Sasanians in 227 A.D.
WA93624. Billon tetradrachm, vant Haaff (uncertain early Arsacid kings) 10.3.1-2A; Alram IP p. 146, taf. 15, NB1; BMC Arabia p. 250, 17; Le Rider Suse pl. LXXIII, 3 - 4, VF, debased metal, struck with a worn rev. die but less degenerated than many specimens (rev. dies were used until worn almost smooth), porosity/corrosion, edge flaw, weight 13.207 g, maximum diameter 30.0 mm, die axis 0o, Seleukeia ad Hedyphon (Ja Nishin, Iran) mint, c. 1st century A.D.; obverse diademed, draped bust of king left, torque around neck, wide fringe of hair below diadem, long beard, star (degenerated into a cross) in crescent over anchor behind, anchor with two cross bars and pellet to left of shaft; reverse crude diademed head left, squared blundered legend around; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C.

|Macedonian| |Kingdom|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |III| |Arrhidaeus| |and| |Alexander| |IV,| |323| |-| |317| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|Price| Reduced
Struck in the name of King Philip III Arrhidaeus, Alexander the Great's half-brother, under the regent Perdikkas. Philip III and Alexander's infant son, Alexander IV, were made joint kings after Alexander's death. Philip was the bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa. Alexander the Great's mother, Olympias, allegedly poisoned her stepson Philip III as a child, leaving him mentally disabled, eliminating him as a rival to Alexander. Neither Philip III nor Alexander IV was capable of actual rule and both were selected only to serve as pawns. The regents held power, while Philip III was actually imprisoned. In 317, Philip was murdered by Olympias to ensure the succession of her grandson.
GS87632. Silver tetradrachm, Price P182, Mller Alexander P103, Demanhur 4601, SNG Munchen 969, SNG Cop 1077, SNG Saroglos -, VF, high relief, centered on a tight flan, rose toning, scratches and marks, some porosity, weight 16.902 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 270o, Mesopotamia, Babylon (Hillah, Iraq) mint, c. 323 - 317 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress, forelegs tied at neck; reverse Zeus seated left on throne, feet on footstool, right leg drawn back, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, ΦIΛIΠΠOY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) in exergue (off flan), M left, B under seat above strut; struck under Archon, Dokimos, or Seleukos I; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00


Parthian Empire, Orodes II, 57 - 38 B.C.

|Parthian| |Empire|, |Parthian| |Empire,| |Orodes| |II,| |57| |-| |38| |B.C.|, |drachm|
The severed head of the Roman general Crassus was presented to Orodes II during a performance of Euripides' tragedy, The Bacchae. It was used as a prop, carried by one of the actors in the play. In Rome it was said the Parthians poured molten gold into his mouth as a symbol of his thirst for wealth.
GS89569. Silver drachm, Sellwood 47.5, Shore 239, Sunrise -, VF, toned, nice portrait, reverse off center, weight 3.935 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Ecbatana (Hamedan, Iran) mint, obverse diademed and draped bust left with short beard, top of head flat, torque ending with pellet, no wart, wavy hair covering ear, star upper left, crescent horns up upper right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ / BAΣIΛEΩN − APΣAKOY − EYEPΓET / ∆IKAIOY − EΠIΦANOYΣ / ΦIΛEΛΛHNOΣ squared legend around, beardless archer (Arsakes I) seated right on throne, wearing bashlyk and cloak, bow in extended right hand, K (mintmark) below bow, squared seven-line legend around; ex Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher); ex Michigan State Numismatic Society Auction (Nov 1998), part of the Parthian Collection lot; $125.00 SALE |PRICE| $113.00


Kingdom of Elymais, Orodes V, Late 2nd - Early 3rd Century A.D.

|Kingdom| |of| |Elymais|, |Kingdom| |of| |Elymais,| |Orodes| |V,| |Late| |2nd| |-| |Early| |3rd| |Century| |A.D.|, |drachm|NEW
Elymais was the biblical Elam and home of the magi. With its capitol at Susa, it was a small kingdom in what is now Iran and Kuwait. The Kingdom of Elymais struck coins from the middle of the 2nd century B.C. until their defeat by the Sasanians in 227 A.D.
WA93630. Bronze drachm, cf. vant Haaff 18.1-2A, Alram IP 490, Sunrise 491, VF, brown tone, buff earthen deposits, tight flan, edge cracks, weight 2.498 g, maximum diameter 14.1 mm, die axis 0o, obverse diademed and draped bust left, long beard, tuft of hair on top; reverse draped bust of Artemis left, wearing low tiara with crest of dots, earring and necklace; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00


Kingdom of Edessa, Mesopotamia, Abgar X with Gordian III, 242 - 243 A.D.

|Mesopotamia| |&| |Babylonia|, |Kingdom| |of| |Edessa,| |Mesopotamia,| |Abgar| |X| |with| |Gordian| |III,| |242| |-| |243| |A.D.|, |AE| |24|
Abgar X Frahad bar Manu was raised to the throne when Gordian III recovered Mesopotamia from the Persians. His rule and the Kingdom of Edessa both ended with Gordian's assassination and a Sassanid takeover in 244 A.D.
GB88990. Bronze AE 24, BMC Arabia p. 115, 148; Babelon Edessa 97; cf. SNG Cop 225 (draped and cuirassed), SNG Hunterian 2579 (same), aVF, dark patina with red earthen highlighting, tight flan, porous, weight 9.952 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, Mesopotamia, Edessa (Urfa, Sanliurfa, Turkey) mint, 242 - 243 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC CEB, laureate bust of Gordian III right, slight drapery on left shoulder, star lower right; reverse ABΓAPOC BACIΛEYC, draped bust of Abgar right, bearded, wearing a diademed Parthian-style tiara, star behind; ex Dmitry Markov Coins & Medals; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00


Kingdom of Persis, Nambed (Namopat), 1st Century A.D.

|Kingdom| |of| |Persis|, |Kingdom| |of| |Persis,| |Nambed| |(Namopat),| |1st| |Century| |A.D.|, |hemidrachm|
Persis was located in what is now southern Iran. "Persians" settled the area as early as the 8th century B.C. From the time after its conquest by Alexander the Great, Persis was most often quasi-independent, under the hegemony of a Seleukid or Parthian king. Immediately following Alexander's death, Persis was subject to the Seleucid Kingdom. About 290 B.C., Persis regained independence. The coins produced during this period were Greek-inspired, but inscriptions were Aramaic, symbolic of Persis' rejection of the Greek ruling class. Sometime between c. 250 and 223 B.C., the Seleucids regained control. Mithradates II later incorporated Persis as a sub-kingdom of Parthia. Under Parthian domination, the coins and appearance of the kings depicted on them assumed the Parthian style. The last King of Persis, Artaxerxes, defeated the Parthians and founded the Sassanian Empire.
GS89568. Silver hemidrachm, cf. Alram IP 601; Sunrise 625; BMC Arabia p. 226, 6; Tyler-Smith -, VF, toned, a little rough, weight 1.119 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 180o, Persepolis (Fars Province, Iran) mint, 1st century A.D.; obverse bearded bust left, wearing Persepolitan crown with stepped battlements, diadem, torque and robe; reverse king standing right, holding scepter, before him, star and crescent with horns left, blundered inscription around; ex Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher); $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00


Kingdom of Persis, Second Unknown King, 1st Century A.D.

|Kingdom| |of| |Persis|, |Kingdom| |of| |Persis,| |Second| |Unknown| |King,| |1st| |Century| |A.D.|, |hemidrachm|
Persis was located in what is now southern Iran. "Persians" settled the area as early as the 8th century B.C. From the time after its conquest by Alexander the Great, Persis was most often quasi-independent, under the hegemony of a Seleukid or Parthian king. Immediately following Alexander's death, Persis was subject to the Seleucid Kingdom. About 290 B.C., Persis regained independence. The coins produced during this period were Greek-inspired, but inscriptions were Aramaic, symbolic of Persis' rejection of the Greek ruling class. Sometime between c. 250 and 223 B.C., the Seleucids regained control. Mithradates II later incorporated Persis as a sub-kingdom of Parthia. Under Parthian domination, the coins and appearance of the kings depicted on them assumed the Parthian style. The last King of Persis, Artaxerxes, defeated the Parthians and founded the Sassanian Empire.
GS63311. Silver hemidrachm, Alram IP 621; BMC Arabia p. 227, 11; cf. Sunrise 650 (obol), VF, thick dark patina, earthen encrustations, weight 1.492 g, maximum diameter 13.89 mm, die axis 0o, Persepolis (Fars Province, Iran) mint, End of 1st Century A.D.; obverse bearded, draped bust left, wavy thick hair, wearing crown with stepped battlements and diadem; reverse diadem, two ties laid across center; $55.00 SALE |PRICE| $49.50


Kingdom of Elymais, Orodes III, 2nd Century A.D.

|Kingdom| |of| |Elymais|, |Kingdom| |of| |Elymais,| |Orodes| |III,| |2nd| |Century| |A.D.|, |drachm|NEW
Elymais was the biblical Elam and home of the magi. With its capitol at Susa, it was a small kingdom in what is now Iran and Kuwait. The Kingdom of Elymais struck coins from the middle of the 2nd century B.C. until their defeat by the Sasanians in 227 A.D.
WA93626. Bronze drachm, vant Haaff 16.4.2-1B(a); BMC Arabia p. 276, 39; De Morgan 28; Alram IP -, Sunrise -, VF/F, crowded on a tight oval flan, porosity, earthen deposits, weight 2.714 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, 2nd century A.D.; obverse long bearded bust left wearing tiara ornamented with anchor; to right, pellet inside crescent above anchor with one crossbar; reverse field of parallel V shaped marks; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $45.00 SALE |PRICE| $40.00


Kingdom of Elymais, Orodes II, Early - Mid 2nd Century A.D.

|Kingdom| |of| |Elymais|, |Kingdom| |of| |Elymais,| |Orodes| |II,| |Early| |-| |Mid| |2nd| |Century| |A.D.|, |drachm|NEW
Elymais was the biblical Elam and home of the magi. With its capitol at Susa, it was a small kingdom in what is now Iran and Kuwait. The Kingdom of Elymais struck coins from the middle of the 2nd century B.C. until their defeat by the Sasanians in 227 A.D.
WA93628. Bronze drachm, vant Haaff 13.3.2-2A; Alram IP 487 (Kamnaskires-Orodes); BMC Arabia p. 264, 17; Alarm IP -, VF, brown tone, tight flan, weight 3.738 g, maximum diameter 14.0 mm, obverse long bearded bust facing wearing diademed tiara with out crest, pellet within crescent above anchor with single crossbar on right; reverse dashes; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $45.00 SALE |PRICE| $40.00




  



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REFERENCES|

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